If you received an email from a sender posing as Public Health Ontario offering you next steps for signing up for a vaccine certificate or asking for your private health information: Do not open it or click on any links.

  1. The province will not contact you directly asking for your health information. It may be a phishing scam*
  2. Call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre at 1-888-495-8501 to report the fraudulent email

*A phishing scam is an attempt to deceive you (usually by email) into giving sensitive information to someone posing as an individual or company that you know (for example, your bank, e-store account).

Report a fraud/scam

You should contact:

  • local police — file a report about the fraud or scam, and make sure you get a report number for future references
  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre — provides valuable assistance to law enforcement agencies by identifying connections among seemingly unrelated cases
  • regulatory bodies — when it involves a member of a regulated profession such as a doctor, lawyer or mortgage broker (regulatory bodies may have the ability to take disciplinary action, such as revoking a person or company’s licence or ordering them to stop providing services to the public)

If you’ve been scammed

If you think you may be a victim of a fraud or scam, there are some key steps you should take immediately to reduce your risk of losing more money, protect your personal information and avoid being scammed again.

You should:

  • stop all communication with the fraudster or scammer
  • report the scam or fraud to your local police, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and any regulatory bodies (if the scam involves a regulated profession)
  • notify financial institutions and other companies where you have an account that may have been affected
  • avoid making any major financial decisions until you feel you’ve taken action to secure your accounts
  • put an alert on your credit report by contacting a consumer reporting agency, such as Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada
  • gather all records you have of the fraud or scam, such as:
    • correspondence with the scammer (for example, letters, emails, text messages)
    • financial statements
    • receipts
    • contracts
    • contact information the scammer used to contact you (for example, phone numbers, email addresses)
    • websites and social media accounts used for the scam (for example, print out hard copies)
    • any papers, marketing material or ads used for the scam (for example, brochures, flyers, copies of ads on classified sites)
  • if the scam occurred in person, avoid touching documents that the scammer may have touched, and protect them with a plastic case or cover
  • change passwords to accounts that may have been affected, including social media sites
  • document your actions in a log
    • this log should include when you first started noticing the fraud (including dates, times, names and contact information), and if you contact law enforcement, financial institutions or other agencies (for example, notifying your bank, changing your banking passwords)
  • protect your devices if you used your computer, laptop or tablet to communicate with a scammer:
    • take your device to a professional to have it checked
    • ensure security software on your device is up to date
    • install anti-spyware protection
    • scan your hard drive and files

You may also contact the Law Society Referral Service. They provide up to one half hour of free legal consultation.

Resources

You can visit the Competition Bureau’s anti-fraud toolbox to view recent fraud alerts.

You can also read the Little Black Book of Scams to learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself. Types of scams you can learn about include:

  • business scams
  • door-to-door scams
  • emergency scams
  • health and medical scams
  • phishing scams
  • romance scams
  • tax scams

If you have noticed or believe you have been misled by false and misleading advertising in the marketplace, you can report it to the Competition Bureau.

Updated: September 20, 2021
Published: November 21, 2014